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Thread: this V.S. that

  1. #1
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    Default this V.S. that

    The following examples are adapted from UNDERSTANDING AND USING ENGLISH GRAMMAR by Betty Schrampfer Azar.

    (a) Tom was late. That surprised me.
    (b) The elevator is out of order. This is too bad.
    (c) Sally lost her job. That wasn't surprising.
    (d) My roommate never picks up after herself. This irritates me.


    I think "this" and "that" refer to the ideas of a whole sentence which comes before.My question is in which case should I use "this", or "that"
    ? I'm quite confused.



    sabrina

  2. #2
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    That (1) is used for referring to a person or a thing that is not near the speaker or as near to the speaker as another: e.g. Look at that man over there.

    This (1) to refer to a perticular person, thing or event that is close to you, especially compared with another: e.g. This one or that one?

    Have a look at http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...e-pronoun.html

    :D


    [/b]

  3. #3
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    That (1) is used for referring to a person or a thing that is not near the speaker or as near to the speaker as another: e.g. Look at that man over there.

    This (1) to refer to a perticular person, thing or event that is close to you, especially compared with another: e.g. This one or that one?

    Have a look at http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...e-pronoun.html

    :D


    [/b]
    I agree with Henry, but I think the following usage note taken from The American Heritage Dictionary is pertinent.

    USAGE NOTE: This and that are both used as demonstrative pronouns to refer to a thought expressed earlier: The letter was unopened; that (or this) in itself casts doubt on the inspector's theory. That is sometimes prescribed as the better choice in referring to what has gone before (as in the preceding example). When the referent is yet to be mentioned, only this is used: This (not that) is what bothers me. We have no time to consider late applications.

    Note that Ms. Azar uses that with the past tense and this with the present tense.

    I hope this has helped you a little.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    That (1) is used for referring to a person or a thing that is not near the speaker or as near to the speaker as another: e.g. Look at that man over there.

    This (1) to refer to a perticular person, thing or event that is close to you, especially compared with another: e.g. This one or that one?

    Have a look at http://www.usingenglish.com/glossary...e-pronoun.html

    :D


    (a) Tom was late. That surprised me.
    (b) The elevator is out of order. This is too bad.
    (c) Sally lost her job. That wasn't surprising.
    (d) My roommate never picks up after herself. This irritates me.


    I agree with you. Henry.
    In (b), the situation could be like this, I am waiting for the elevator for a long time, finally I saw the warning which read "Out of order". and THIS is too bad. "THIS" refers to sth near.

    But seeing example (a) breaks the assumption we assumed. In (a) and (d), I think "Tom" and "My roomate" belongs to the same catagory,they are our friends. In addition, they both state an event/situation of someone. I don't get it why they use "that" in (a) and "this" in (d).


    sabrina

  5. #5
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Quote Originally Posted by Susie Smith
    I hope this has helped you a little.
    Thanks Susie. I knew the nuance between "this" and "that". But did you read my example(d)? I feel confused.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    According to your examples, "this" is used with present tense. This means that this is apparently used with periods of time related to the present, and that to the past. :wink:

  7. #7
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Thank you for million times! Henry and Susie.
    Chrystal clear now!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Thank you for million times! Henry and Susie.
    Chrystal clear now!


    You are very welcome.


  9. #9
    Susie Smith Guest

    Default Re: this V.S. that

    Quote Originally Posted by henry
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Thank you for million times! Henry and Susie.
    Chrystal clear now!


    You are very welcome.

    Happy to help.
    :D :D :D :D :D

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